Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

An aged British officer (Roger Livesey) and member of the Home Guard as World War II breaks out in Europe, is the victim of an insensitive prank by a junior officer. After berating the young lad, he flashes back to his distinguished military career spanning both the Boer War and the First Great War, as well as his personal involvements with a German soldier and friend (Anton Walbrook) and his three great loves (all played by Deborah Kerr). Filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger adapted the popular 1930s Colonel Blimp comic strip which, according to the Wikipedia entry, depicted a "pompous, irascible, jingoistic, and stereotypically British" type, and crafted a deeply felt, sympathetic character, played with gusto by Livesey, in an impeccably made film. Walbrook and Kerr contribute greatly and some exciting, innovative filmmaking, including some quick cutting montages, make this the essence of The Archer's considerable work.